Buddhist Study in Thailand

The Office of National Buddhism of Thailand shows 94% of Thai population are Buddhists (2016). The total population of monastics is 358,167 (298,580 monks and 59,587 novices). There are 40,580 Buddhist Wats. Simply, Thailand is a Buddhist country with the highest percentage of Buddhists in the world. Accordingly, development of Buddhism in Thailand not only limited to culture and religious ecology but equally plays role in the development of the country as well.
In the field of Buddhist education, Thailand has two types of Buddhist studies. They are monastic studies and secular sanghic studies. Under the monastic studies they are divided into 2 divisions: Foundational Buddhist study (Nak Dhamma) and Pali Buddhist study (Pali Studies). The Foundational Buddhist study offers 3 levels named nak-dham tri, nak-dham tho and nak-dham aek. The Pali studies offers 9 levels. The monastic Buddhist study operates fully by the Supreme Sangha Council of Thailand. Main temples nationwide as well as Thai Wats overseas work as Buddhist schools where they offer both monastic studies. The courses are fully run in Thai language.
For high-school level, the Thai government also offer an alternative course named Phra Pariyati-Saman. This course uniquely combines both secular and Buddhist studies as a high-school course. This is specially designed for Buddhist monastics.
Under the secular sanghic Buddhist study, there are 2 public universities and 1 private university. These universities offer secular degrees of Bachelors, Masters and Doctors. These sangha universities offer degrees just like any other public universities but limited in the field of social sciences and 30 units of Buddhism are compulsory part of courses. The three universities are Mahachulalongkorana- rajavidyalaya University (founded in 1887), Mahamakut Buddhist University (founded in 1893), and International Buddhist College (founded in 2005). All these universities have colleges spread nationwide as well as internationally.
Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University offers 23 undergraduate and 36 post-graduate degrees under 5 different faculties: Faculty of Buddhism, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences and International Buddhist Studies College (degree in English).
Mahamakut Buddhist University offers 14 undergraduate and 7 postgraduate degrees under 5 faculties: Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Religion and Philosophy, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences and Graduate school.
International Buddhist College offers 2 undergraduates and 3 post-graduate degrees under the only Faculty of Buddhist Studies. The courses are run in English and Chinese.
Moreover, many leading universities in Thailand offer both undergraduate and post-graduate courses on Buddhist studies too.

Buddhist Study

International Buddhist College

IBC offers students a unique opportunity of experiencing a comprehensive and in-depth study of Buddhism from a non-sectarian point of view, while promoting knowledge and understanding of the different schools and traditions within Buddhism.

Being truly international, IBC uses English and Chinese as media of instruction and presently has students and teachers from more than 20 countries. A unique feature is the equal emphasis on study and practice. IBC aims to become an internationally recognized centre for Buddhist studies.

International Buddhist Studies College (IBSC) Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University

The Bachelor of Arts in Buddhist Studies. The courses Bachelor of Arts in Buddhist Studies mainly aims at developing graduate’s efficiency of being spiritual leader hood and enabling for reasonably and intelligently solving various kinds of problems. Besides, the program enables to produce the graduate with insightful knowledge of the Buddha’s teaching so that they are able to teach in reasonably and intelligently to both Thais and foreigners. As a result, those who have studied Buddhism regarding this program can rightly apprehend and effectively practice along with Buddhist principles and better understanding on the current situations of the world and society and well-versed in using modern technology to propagate the auspicious teachings of the Buddha.

Mahamakut Buddhist University

Academic excellence and good conduct in accordance with Buddhist principles. In accordance with the priceless intellectual and Cultural heritage of Buddhism, MBU offers an educational process that reflects the three stages of Buddhist learning: academic study (pariyatti) practice (patipatti) and fruition (pativedha).

MBU has developed extensive and rewarding links with the public sector in Thailand and with a number of regional institution. We regularly invite experts, renowned professors and lecturer to teach at the university. We have consistently developed syllabi, professors, lecturers, and personnel to meet and exceed the high standards of leading institutions of Thailand.

Scroll to Top